CSA Group, a leading standards development, testing and certification organization, has released Canada’s first national standard on cellulosic nanomaterials: CSA Z5100-14, Cellulosic nanomaterials – Test methods for characterization. The new standard provides over 20 test methods allowing nanocellulose materials to be identified and characterized according to unique properties to encourage introduction into global markets.
Cellulosic nanomaterials are a sustainable, biodegradable and considered to be a non-toxic material extracted from cellulose sources such as wood pulp. They can be divided into two distinct groups: cellulose nanofibrils (CNF) and cellulose nanocrystals (CNC). Nanocellulose is a new class of nanotechnology and has a wide variety of commercial applications.
“The potential uses for nanocellulose materials are truly amazing,” said Bonnie Rose, President Standards, CSA Group. “CSA Group is dedicated to promoting a more sustainable world, and we are proud to contribute to cutting edge technology that will offer new and innovative ways to make products greener and safer.”
Canada is a world leader in the production of CNCs and is committed to the development and application of both CNCs and CNFs. CNCs consist of highly crystalline basic structure of cellulosic fibres and have a very high tensile strength (>130 GPa). They can be used to reinforce plastic, make films that are transparent and produce colour and iridescence. CNCs can also be used to improve the properties of coatings, adhesives and textiles. CNCs have four main potential industrial applications: paints and coatings, films and barriers, textiles, and composites. CNFs which consist of both crystalline and amorphous structure of cellulosic fibres can be used to replace man-made fibres and can be made into a gel with high potential for products like packaging materials, in food as a replacement for carbohydrates used as thickeners and in pharmaceuticals as a water absorbent gel in diapers or bandages.
Canada will also be leading the development of a technical report on CNCs. The ISO work item began in May 2014, and Canada is providing a Project Leader from the National Research Council of Canada, on behalf of Standards Council of Canada. The new ISO Project Group, a working group subgroup of ISO/TC229, Nanotechnologies, will review methods for the characterization of CNCs. The technical report will assist future development of international standards for products using nanocellulose materials with liaison between ISO/TC 229 and ISO/TC 6, Paper, board and pulps, providing a path for entry into global markets.
Both the publication of the national standard, CSA Z5100-14 and approval of a new work item at ISO, via CSA Group and Standards Council of Canada, were made possible in part by the financial support of Natural Resources Canada – Canadian Forest Service.